car insurance http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4910/all en-US Why Your Credit Score Matters in Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/why-your-credit-score-matters-in-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-your-credit-score-matters-in-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/retired_couple_car_108348263.jpg" alt="Couple learning why credit score matters in retirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've left the working world and are ready to enjoy your retirement years. So, you might be forgiven for thinking that your days of fretting over your FICO credit score are over.</p> <p>Guess what? They're not. Your three-digit credit score matters even in your retirement.</p> <p>Lenders of all kinds, not to mention credit card providers, rely on your FICO credit score to determine how well you've managed your credit in the past. Having a low score can hurt you financially, even after you've left the days of commuting to work behind you.</p> <h2>Why Scores Matter</h2> <p>Your FICO credit score &mdash; you have three, one each maintained by the credit bureaus of Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion &mdash; is a key number throughout your adult life. Lenders rely on these scores to determine if you can qualify for loans. And if your score is low, even if you do qualify, you'll pay higher interest rates.</p> <p>Generally, lenders consider a FICO credit score of 740 or higher to be an excellent one. Scores under 640 are generally considered weak by lenders, and will leave you with higher interest rates on the money you borrow.</p> <p>As you make your way through adulthood, lenders will check your scores as you apply for auto loans, mortgages, or credit cards.</p> <p>When you retire, the odds are high that you will no longer be applying for mortgage loans. However, this doesn't mean that credit scores will no longer play a key role in your financial life.</p> <h2>The Best Credit Cards</h2> <p>If you want to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-for-people-with-excellent-credit?ref=internal" target="_blank">qualify for the best credit cards</a>, including ones with the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">most generous rewards programs</a>, you'll need a high FICO score. Financial institutions only pass out their best credit cards to those customers who've proven that they have a history of paying their bills on time.</p> <p>Having a high credit score is how you'll prove to banks that you are financially responsible. And if you want to qualify for the best credit scores during your retirement, you'll take steps to make sure that your credit score is strong in your 60s, 70s, 80s, and beyond.</p> <h2>A New Car</h2> <p>Maybe you plan to buy that dream car after retirement. If you can't pay for it in cash, you'll need an auto loan. And if you want to qualify for an auto loan with the lowest possible interest rate, you'll need a strong FICO credit score.</p> <p>Auto lenders will check your credit score when you apply for financing. So make sure that your score doesn't take a dip after retirement.</p> <h2>Auto Insurance Rates</h2> <p>If you buy a new car, you'll need auto insurance, too. Guess what? Auto insurers rely on a variation of your credit score to help set their rates. Again, you'll want the highest possible credit score if you expect to qualify for the most affordable auto insurance.</p> <p>Auto insurers use something called a credit-based insurance score to set rates. If this score is strong &mdash; and your driving history is good &mdash; you'll usually qualify for lower insurance rates. Your credit-based insurance score doesn't factor in your job or income. But it will rise if you pay bills such as your credit card payments and mortgage on time every month. It will fall if you miss payments, make payments 30 days or more late, have too much debt, or have accounts that have been sent to collections.</p> <h2>Refinancing to a Lower Monthly Payment</h2> <p>The goal is to enter retirement without having a monthly mortgage payment. That doesn't always happen, though. And if you are still paying off a mortgage loan when you enter your after-work years, you might want to someday refinance that home loan to one with a lower interest rate. Lowering your rate will give you a lower monthly payment. That extra cash each month could be important once you're living on a fixed income.</p> <p>To qualify for a refinance, and for the lowest possible interest rate to make such a move financially worthwhile, you'll again need a high credit score. If your FICO credit score is 740 or higher, the odds are good that you'll qualify for an interest rate low enough to make refinancing a smart financial decision.</p> <p>The lesson here is obvious: You can't put worrying about credit scores behind you just because you've entered retirement. The best move is to continue taking the steps that help guarantee a strong credit score &mdash; paying your bills on time and keeping your credit card debt low &mdash; even after you've left the working world.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-your-credit-score-matters-in-retirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-why-youre-too-old-or-too-young-for-a-mortgage-loan">4 Reasons Why You&#039;re Too Old — Or Too Young — For a Mortgage Loan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/building-a-credit-history">Building a Credit History</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-surprising-things-lenders-check-besides-your-credit-score">4 Surprising Things Lenders Check Besides Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-lenders-look-for-in-a-loan-application">5 Things Lenders Look For in a Loan Application</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-the-new-credit-card-formula-means-for-your-wallet">What the New Credit Card Formula Means for Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement car insurance credit history credit score fico insurance rates mortgages new car refinancing Mon, 30 Jan 2017 10:00:08 +0000 Dan Rafter 1870059 at http://www.wisebread.com Is Pay-As-You-Drive Auto Insurance Worth It? http://www.wisebread.com/is-pay-as-you-drive-auto-insurance-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-pay-as-you-drive-auto-insurance-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_driving_car_540836094.jpg" alt="Woman learning if pay-as-you-drive auto insurance is worth it" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Don't drive much throughout the year? Your wallet may be in luck, in more ways than one. Pay-as-you-drive car insurance plans (also known as usage-based car insurance plans) can provide a money-saving solution for drivers who don't drive often. Each month, your rate will vary based on how much you drive. The less you drive, the more you'll save.</p> <h2>How Does the Plan Work?</h2> <p>These unique auto insurance options work a bit like pay-per-minute cellphone plans, where you're only charged for what you use. In order to accurately determine how much you're driving, you will receive a small wireless device that plugs into your vehicle's OBD-II port. This will alert your insurance company to how many miles you drove, so they can determine your monthly bill.</p> <h2>Who Qualifies?</h2> <p>Pay-as-you-go insurer <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-12479902-1459881208000" target="_blank">Metromile</a> estimates that if you drive less than 200 miles per week, you can save money with their pay-per-mile insurance plans. They also found that if you drive less than 5,000 miles a year, you could pay 40%&ndash;50% less than you would with a traditional insurance plan. In fact, they estimate that 65% of drivers are overpaying for their insurance. These types of plans are especially beneficial to drivers who don't drive very often and people who are paying high insurance rates due to their age or credit history.</p> <h2>How the Pricing Works</h2> <p>Once you enroll, you will pay a low monthly base rate, plus a charge per mile of driving. Through Metromile, if you drive more than 150 miles per day (or 250 per day in Washington), you won't be charged for the extra miles above the cap, which means you won't overpay on a long trip. Other factors can also affect your rate, including age, vehicle, and driver history.</p> <h2>How Much Can You Save?</h2> <p>Many drivers will limit their coverage in order to save money when they don't drive often. However, this can end up costing you more in the end if you <em>do</em> get in an accident. Instead, a pay-as-you-drive plan can provide the coverage you need and save you money every month.</p> <p>Some insurers claim that you will save anywhere from 20%&ndash;50% on your premium, and certain providers will even offer an immediate discount just for installing the tracking device to your vehicle's onboard diagnostics port. You can get an accurate idea of how much you can save by comparing your current auto insurance costs to what you would spend using a simple plan, like those that Metromile offers.</p> <p>As an example, we will use Metromile's estimate of $46 per month, which includes a $30 flat monthly rate and 500 miles driven x $0.032 per mile. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the national <a href="http://www.dmv.org/insurance/average-car-insurance-rates.php" target="_blank">car insurance average</a> rate is just over $900 per year for a single driver. Compared to the $552 per year that you would spend on pay-as-you-drive plans, you'll save about $350 per year if you drive 500 miles per month, on average.</p> <h2>Who Offers It?</h2> <p>Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, Travelers, Esurance, Nationwide, The Hartford, Safeco, American Family, and GMAC are some of the bigger insurance companies that offer these types of plans, but many have additional stipulations. For instance, Progressive also monitors what type of driver you are by also collecting information about how hard you brake, how much you accelerate, and your driving patterns. Insurance companies like Metromile only monitor how many miles you are driving.</p> <h2>Is It Right for You?</h2> <p>Along with deciding whether to sign up for this type of plan, you will also need to find the right insurance provider. Sites like <a href="http://www.carinsurance.com/Articles/pay-as-you-drive-discounts.aspx" target="_blank">carinsurance.com</a> can help you determine what type of discount you can expect, what's measured, and what's available in your state.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-pay-as-you-drive-auto-insurance-worth-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-a-claim-will-impact-your-car-insurance">Here&#039;s How a Claim Will Impact Your Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-when-bundling-insurance-doesnt-make-sense">4 Times When Bundling Insurance Doesn&#039;t Make Sense</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-mistakes-to-avoid-when-shopping-for-car-insurance">6 Mistakes to Avoid When Shopping for Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance car insurance mileage pay as you drive premiums rates savings usage based car insurance Mon, 09 Jan 2017 10:30:23 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1869650 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Money Leaks You Need to Plug http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-leaks-you-need-to-plug <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-money-leaks-you-need-to-plug" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_empty_wallet_101494811.jpg" alt="Man finding money leaks he needs to plug" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want to tighten your budget, but can't figure out where you can save money? Look for leaks in your budget &mdash; places where money is slowly but surely leaking out. Here are seven places to start:</p> <h2>1. Insurance on Old Vehicles</h2> <p>Have cars or trucks sitting in your garage, driveway, or backyard that rarely or never get road time? Or maybe you're paying insurance on other types of vehicles &mdash; like boats or motorcycles &mdash; that have become permanent fixtures on your landscape. If this situation sounds familiar and you're still carrying insurance on these vehicles, it's time to make a decision. Either cut the insurance and put a tarp over the machine(s) for preservation, or put it up for sale so you can make a few bucks.</p> <h2>2. Bank Fees and Out-of-Network ATMs</h2> <p>Many checking and savings accounts have maintenance fees related to a minimum balance, and if you don't keep that minimum in the account, you'll be charged the fee &mdash; and you may not even realize it. For instance, last year I upgraded my savings account to a higher-yield savings account that pays more interest, but I recently took out a large sum of that savings for a down payment on a home. Unbeknown to me, the new savings account charges a $12 monthly fee for not keeping a minimum balance of $10,000, which I was quick to flag, and I reverted back to my previous account until I've replenished my savings to accommodate the higher-year account's requirements. Now, $12 a month may not seem like a big deal, but if you let it go too long, it really adds up. It's worth calling your bank or sitting down with an in-bank representative to discuss your accounts' requirements and to ask about what types of accounts best suit your needs.</p> <p>Another way you can plug money leaks from your account is to avoid ATMs that charge a fee for use. I've seen service fees upward of $10 at some ATMs, and that's not counting the fee that your bank may also charge &mdash; my institution's is $2.50 per transaction &mdash; every time you use an out-of-network ATM. If you need quick cash (like for a night out, for example), try to remember to go to your home back earlier in the day or stop by a convenience store, like Rite-Aid or 7-11, and use the cash back option if you're on the go.</p> <h2>3. Unused Memberships and Subscriptions</h2> <p>Over the past several years, the availability of membership and subscription services has skyrocketed thanks to our increasing attachment to mobile devices. Services like Spotify, Netflix, Hulu, and more extract their monthly fees from our bank accounts, and that can be dangerous if the price is not justified by the amount we use a particular service. If you lost your interest in an existing subscription, cancel it. This also applies to traditional month-to-month memberships too, like your gym. If you're not using them on a consistent basis, put them on hold until you get back on track or end them so you're not paying for rather pricey services you're not receiving.</p> <h2>4. Credit Card Interest and Late Payments</h2> <p>Avoiding <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=internal">credit card interest</a> and late payments should be a top priority when you're trying to stop hemorrhaging cash. Maybe you can make up the difference by plugging up the other money leaks listed in this article. But, if that's not feasible or if you fall short, consider picking up a side gig, like pet sitting using services like Rover.com and Dog Vacay or becoming an independent taxi service with Uber or Lyft. I personally do both, and the money I've made from these &quot;extracurriculars&quot; has helped me pay off bills and put a substantial amount of money in my savings account.</p> <h2>5. Mobile Data Overages and Outdated Plans</h2> <p>Many of my friends complain about never having enough data and subsequently having to pay for overages. It's annoying for them because either they have to suck up the cost of going over, or cut back on their data usage, which becomes quite prohibitive after a while. In addition, if you've had the same mobile plan for a while, now is a good time to call your provider to see what savings are available. Last year, I called my mobile provider to inquire about my plan, which had remained the same for about 10 years, and I was happy to come off the call with about $8 in savings per month moving forward.</p> <h2>6. Wasted and Spoiled Groceries</h2> <p>I know far too many people who have pantries packed to the brim with boxed and canned goods that are many years old &mdash; and many years past their expiration dates &mdash; who continue to purchase even more boxed and canned goods every time they visit the supermarket. It's pure nonsense.</p> <p>First step, clean out your pantry! Throw out what's expired and the things you know you're not going to eat (or deliver the still-edible goods to a local food pantry), then bring whatever's left to the front of the pantry to be consumed immediately. Next, stop buying items for which you don't have specific plans; this also includes perishable foods. If you not sure when you're going to eat something, why are you buying it? Just in case? <em>Just in case</em> is how you spend way more than you need to at the supermarket. Make a list, check it twice, and stick to it when you next go grocery shopping.</p> <h2>7. Vampire Energy Consumption</h2> <p>Is your air conditioner constantly running &mdash; even when you're not home? Do you treat the heat the same way in the winter? TV left on? Dryer turned to high? Faucets dripping? Everything plugged into outlets even when they're not in use?</p> <p>Every time you quietly answered yes to those questions, it costs you money. To curb your energy consumption, make sure everything is off when you leave the house. Also, unplug non-daily-use electronics and appliances &mdash; like that nightstand lamp that you never use &mdash; so they're not eating up electricity for no reason. And for goodness sake, fix water and air leaks around the house so you're not almost literally throwing money out the window or down the drain. Be mindful of other ways you may be consuming more energy than you need to, like turning off porch lights, adjusting the temperature in your fridge and freezer, cleaning air filters, and using more efficient cycles on the dishwasher and washing machine if a lower setting will get the job done.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-leaks-you-need-to-plug">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/welcome-to-container-city-how-shipping-containers-are-recycled-into-green-dwellings">Welcome to Container City - How Shipping Containers Are Recycled into Green Dwellings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-americans-spend-too-much-on">5 Things Americans Spend Too Much On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-ways-to-stay-warm-and-reduce-the-heating-bill">Six Ways to Stay Warm and Reduce the Heating Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sleek-marketing-ploys-aimed-at-getting-more-of-your-grocery-money">5 Sleek Marketing Ploys Aimed at Getting More of Your Grocery Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living atms bank fees car insurance data energy food waste groceries late payments memberships money leaks subscriptions wasting money Thu, 15 Sep 2016 10:30:05 +0000 Mikey Rox 1793090 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Tell If a Car Service Plan Is Worth It http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-a-car-service-plan-is-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-tell-if-a-car-service-plan-is-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_73183307_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="is a car service plan worth it?" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Considering the purchase of an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-extended-warranties-ever-a-good-deal">extended warranty for a vehicle</a> can lead to serious mockery from the frugal. Everyone <em>knows </em>that dealerships tack large markups to these policies, extracting hundreds of extra dollars from customers. Consumer Reports warns that more than half of people who buy an extended warranty never use it, and even the minority that do use it end up, on average, spending more on the warranty than they save on repairs.</p> <p>But suppose you are able to purchase a warranty at a <a href="http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/secrets-of-an-ace-negotiator-part-ii.html">low markup over the dealer's wholesale price</a>? Should you buy a warranty if it's a great deal?</p> <p>I recently found myself in this position after getting offered a price on a Toyota Extra Care Vehicle Service Agreement so low that a friend who worked at a different dealership urged me to snap it up. But still, I worried. Because even at a good price, coverage that I never used would still be money down the drain.</p> <p>I wished for a crystal ball that would tell me whether the used car I was buying &mdash; a late model Highlander Hybrid &mdash; would ever need the services covered by this plan. Seeing the future is impossible, of course. But with some digging, I found resources that helped me make an educated guess by answering the following questions.</p> <h2>How Long Would the Warranty Cover My Car?</h2> <p>The dealer was offering me an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty, which sounded like a lot of coverage. But when I looked closer, I realized that the mileage limit was based on the odometer's mileage, not the miles I drove. Since the car already had about 60,000 miles on it, that meant this warranty would cover 40,000 miles of my driving. And since the certified preowned car came with a free one-year warranty, the VSA, if I bought it, it would kick in on year two. Assuming that the car would hit 100,000 miles after four years of driving, this meant that the supposed eight-year policy would really cover me for about three years. I used this information to calculate the cost per year.</p> <p>If you're not sure if a vehicle you're buying is already covered by a warranty, you can check by calling a dealership of that brand, or by getting a VIN-based report from CarFax or CarMD.</p> <h2>What Is the Rate for the Car I'm Buying?</h2> <p>When buying a VSA, it's like betting against the company that your car will break down. Of course, the carmaker and dealership know more about the car's reliability record than you do, so it's a bet that's stacked against you. However, it would help to know how likely it is that you'll need to repair your car during the warranty period, and fortunately, that information is available.</p> <p>One step you can take is to consult the reliability rating of your car's make and model on ConsumerReports.com. My particular car got high marks in this area, which was a strike against buying the warranty. In surveys, Consumer Reports has found that owners of more reliable vehicle makes tend to be less satisfied with their purchases of warranty plans.</p> <p>You can get more specific by ordering a Vehicle History and Title Report from CarMD, a company that sells a diagnostic tool that plugs into the car to tell you why the check engine light is on. You can order a report by typing the VIN into <a href="https://www.carmd.com/wp/how-to-run-a-health-and-history-report-without-a-tool/">CarMD's site</a>, and in addition to useful information about the car's history, CarMD will draw upon its large database to tell you whether a check-engine light repair is expected within the next year. CarMD showed me a report for a car with the same make, model, and mileage as the one I was buying, and the report indicated that no such repair was expected in the next 12 months.</p> <p>That was another strike against buying the VSA.</p> <p>What repairs can cause that light to go on? About 85% of the systems in the car, says CarMD spokeswoman Kristin Brocoff.</p> <p>&quot;It's not just a handful of parts. The car's check engine light can alert you to anything as small as a loose gas cap and serious as engine failure,&quot; she said.</p> <h2>What Are Car Repairs Likely to Cost Me?</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/reviewing_car_service_plan.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>CarMD can help answer this question too, using data from repair shops nationwide. The vehicle history includes a five-year cost of ownership estimate, which includes fuel, maintenance, repairs, insurance, and depreciation. For my vehicle of choice, Brocoff broke down the $50,433 cost listed on the report, and revealed that repairs over the next five years are expected to run $1,689.18, or $337.80 per year. This was more than the per-year price of my warranty, so, if all those expected repairs were covered by the warranty I was offered, maybe I would come out ahead by buying the warranty.</p> <p>Another way CarMD can help you predict your car's future is its regularly updated <a href="https://www.carmd.com/wp/vehicle-health-index-introduction/2016-carmd-vehicle-health-index/">Vehicle Health Index</a> reports, which are free dispatches on the cost and incidence of repairs for <em>all</em> cars. For instance, the 2016 VHI says that the typical &quot;check engine light&quot; repair in my region, the West, costs $403.42. Knowing that, I know I would have to get hit with at least two such repairs that were covered by my warranty to make the coverage pay off.</p> <h2>Will the Warranty Even Cover the Expected Repairs?</h2> <p>Up until this point, things have looked good for buying the warranty, because the data predicts that I'd spend a few hundred dollars a year on car repairs. But this is where things get head-scratchy. Some potential repairs would be covered by two <em>other </em>warranties that would come free with my car, and those that aren't might not be covered by the VSA, either.</p> <p>Like many certified used vehicles, my car came with a limited powertrain warranty, which covers &quot;major engine, transmission components, and all internally lubricated parts,&quot; up until my odometer hits 100,000 miles, i.e., for about the same amount of time as the VSA they want to sell me. Because it's a hybrid, Toyota is required by law to also provide a warranty for the hybrid battery, covering about the same period. So, only repairs that don't involve the powertrain or the hybrid battery could potentially be covered by the VSA. Then, of course, the VSA has a specific list of components it covers, and anything not listed there would cost me out of pocket.</p> <p>How do you know what parts are most likely to break? Again, I got help from CarMD's 2016 Vehicle Health Index, which told me that the <a href="https://www.carmd.com/wp/vehicle-health-index-introduction/2016-carmd-vehicle-health-index/#stats">most common check-engine-related repair</a> for all cars was replacing the oxygen sensor (average cost $250), followed closely by replacing the catalytic converter ($1,153!), and replacing ignition coils and spark plugs ($390 for both). Searching for these repairs on the list of items covered by&nbsp;<a href="https://www.sc.toyotafinancial.com/web/tfs/pub/contents/vsa/TFS_VSA_Platinum_VSA_eBrochure.pdf">Toyota's powertrain warranty and the Toyota Extra Care Platinum VSA</a>, I found the O2 sensor listed on neither, the catalytic converter and ignition coils listed on the VSA, and spark plugs listed on neither. The high cost and high ranking of catalytic converter replacement was definitely a point for buying the warranty; then again, even at the second most likely repair, this job only accounted for about 7% of all car repairs. And despite all the data I'd read, I could not really predict how likely it was that my car would need a new catalytic converter during the warranty coverage.</p> <p>After investing multiple hours researching the likelihood of needing the offered VSA, I came to the frustrating conclusion that buying it or not buying it was basically a toss up.</p> <p>My educated guess based on my research is that my car may need one or two of the smaller covered repairs during the coverage period, but that the out-of-pocket cost would be close to what I paid for the warranty. On the other hand, reading CarMD's reports made me feel more secure that the odds of a really expensive repair hitting me in the next few years was probably not very high.</p> <p>One actionable thing I learned from this experience is that if you opt to buy a VSA, you should absolutely not pay the first price offered by the dealership. My dealership's finance guy first offered me the plan at twice the price he eventually ended up offering it at. All it took to cut the price in half was telling him that I didn't want to buy it.</p> <p><em>Have you purchased a similar warranty on your vehicle? Share your experience with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-a-car-service-plan-is-worth-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-does-it-cost-every-time-you-get-into-your-car">How Much Does it Cost Every Time you Get Into Your Car?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers">Ask the Readers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-what-to-do-with-a-totaled-car">My 2016 Budget Challenge: What to Do With a Totaled Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation car car insurance car maintenance car repair car service plan mechanic saving money service plan Mon, 18 Jul 2016 09:30:37 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1753054 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways Life Is Wonderful When You're a Good Driver http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-life-is-wonderful-when-youre-a-good-driver <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-life-is-wonderful-when-youre-a-good-driver" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_happy_driver_000051470206.jpg" alt="Woman learning ways life is wonderful as a good driver" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This post brought to you by <a href="https://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C858%7C3098&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Ftags.bluekai.com%2Fsite%2F33111%3Fredir%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fbob.dmpxs.com%252Fbob_007.gif%253Fphnx_id%253D105604%2526atype%253Dclick%2526bk_uuid%253D%2524_BK_UUID%2526bobredir%253Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fad.doubleclick.net%252Fddm%252Fclk%252F305005927%253B132382872%253Bc%253Fhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.progressive.com%252Flp%252Fauto-save%252F%253Fcode%253D9903600564%252526dclid%25253D%252525n-1384245-5108844-132382872-305005927-%252525erid%21" rel="nofollow">Progressive</a>. You could save $598* when you switch to <a href="https://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C858%7C3098&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Ftags.bluekai.com%2Fsite%2F33111%3Fredir%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fbob.dmpxs.com%252Fbob_007.gif%253Fphnx_id%253D105604%2526atype%253Dclick%2526bk_uuid%253D%2524_BK_UUID%2526bobredir%253Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fad.doubleclick.net%252Fddm%252Fclk%252F305005927%253B132382872%253Bc%253Fhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.progressive.com%252Flp%252Fauto-save%252F%253Fcode%253D9903600564%252526dclid%25253D%252525n-1384245-5108844-132382872-305005927-%252525erid%21" rel="nofollow">Progressive</a>.</em></p> <p>Are you the mom who always gets asked to drive on school field trips? Do you take pleasure in feeling yourself come to a complete stop at intersections? Can you recall many instances over the years when your defensive driving prevented an accident?</p> <p>If your answer was yes, then you know the pleasures of being a truly excellent driver. If no, keep reading to learn more about how the care you take behind the wheel can pay dividends that you may not even be aware of.</p> <h2>1. You and Your Loved Ones Are Safer</h2> <p>Let&rsquo;s get the obvious out of the way first: Bad driving is responsible for <a href="http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pubs/812115.pdf">94% of car crashes</a>. By avoiding poor decisions such as speeding or driving drunk, and avoiding distractions and being vigilant about driving defensively, you make it much less likely that you or a loved one will be injured in a car crash.</p> <h2>2. You Pay Less for Car Insurance</h2> <p>In order to qualify for the lowest insurance premiums, you need a clean record without crashes or tickets. Ask for a good driver&rsquo;s discount or other perks like &nbsp;<a href="https://www.progressive.com/auto/why-choose-progressive-insurance/">accident forgiveness</a> when negotiating rates and if you do get a moving violation, get rid of the point by attending traffic school before it affects your premium.</p> <h2>3. You&rsquo;re Healthier</h2> <p>Engaging in aggressive driving, commonly known as &ldquo;road rage,&rdquo; has been shown to have a <a href="http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/08/30/how-to-control-road-rage">negative effect on your health</a>. As you inevitably get into conflicts with other drivers, your stress levels will rise, to the detriment of your immune system, your cardiovascular system, and your emotional wellbeing.</p> <h2>4. You Spend Less at the Pump</h2> <p>Speeding doesn&rsquo;t actually save much time &mdash;&nbsp;going 10 miles faster on a 20 mile trip gets you there all of <a href="http://personal.denison.edu/~silveira/speeding.html">three minutes faster</a>. But slowing down can save you a lot of money.</p> <p>In one case study, a speedy driver saved about four minutes an hour &mdash;&nbsp;at the cost of <a href="http://blog.automatic.com/cost-speeding-save-little-time-spend-lot-money/">$46 more in gas each month</a>.</p> <h2>5. You Learn Life Lessons</h2> <p>Good driving habits just happen to be the same behaviors we need to do well in life, so why not practice them during your commute?</p> <p>The blog <a href="http://www.drivingintherealworld.com/journal/2015/5/1/how-being-a-better-driver-makes-you-better-at-life.html">Driving in the Real World</a> points out that all safe driving tactics have their big-picture equivalents. For example, it&rsquo;s a good idea to keep a safe distance between yourself and other cars on the road, just as it&rsquo;s a good idea to give yourself a time cushion to avoid being late for work. And when other people behave badly, whether it&rsquo;s on the road or at work, it&rsquo;s safer and healthier to just let it go.</p> <h2>6. You Have Better Employment Prospects</h2> <p>There is a long list of jobs that a ticket for reckless driving may disqualify you for, including police officer, <a href="https://about.usps.com/handbooks/el312/el312c5_006.htm">mail carrier</a>, babysitter, and (of course) commercial driver. If you&rsquo;ve been convicted of driving under the influence, things could be even worse, especially if you <a href="https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ash/ash_programs/investigations/airmen_duidwi/">are or want to be a pilot</a>.</p> <h2>7. You May Have a Better Credit Score</h2> <p>Higher insurance premiums aren&rsquo;t the only way reckless driving can cost you. There are financial costs involved for receiving a citation, getting a DUI, and of course getting in an accident, especially if your insurance plan has a high deductible. Fail to pay any of these bills on time, and there goes your credit rating.</p> <h2>8. Your Kids Will Become Safer Drivers</h2> <p>Teens who report that their parents are not safe drivers are more likely to get tickets or have crashes themselves, <a href="http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2014/01/16/242923.htm">a survey found</a>.</p> <h2>9. You Have Better Dating Prospects</h2> <p>This might surprise you, but a <a href="http://www.perrys.co.uk/car-news/news/bad-driving-damage-love-life/">survey by the Institute of Advanced Motorists</a> ranked road rage and texting while driving as the most offensive things someone could do on a first date. Apparently, singles value the prospect of staying alive until that goodnight kiss.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s no more excuses not to be a good driver when the benefits are clear. Safe driving!</p> <p>*National average annual car insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with Progressive in 2015.</p> <script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8" src="https://vc.cdn.fm/video_conversationalist/system/published/opportunity/105604858/289_3098.js"></script> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-life-is-wonderful-when-youre-a-good-driver">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-a-car-service-plan-is-worth-it">How to Tell If a Car Service Plan Is Worth It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-insurance-agents-dont-want-you-to-know">14 Things Insurance Agents Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-pay-as-you-drive-auto-insurance-worth-it">Is Pay-As-You-Drive Auto Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation car insurance good driver good driver discount Health healthy living Tue, 17 May 2016 10:30:09 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1711685 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Kinds of Insurance That Aren't Worth It -- And What to Do Instead http://www.wisebread.com/6-kinds-of-insurance-that-arent-worth-it-and-what-to-do-instead <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-kinds-of-insurance-that-arent-worth-it-and-what-to-do-instead" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_driving_000019761193.jpg" alt="Woman driving car with insurance plan that isn&#039;t worth it " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Forewarned is forearmed, an old adage goes.</p> <p>Being prepared for the unforeseen is always wise, but some insurance companies may actually be cashing in on our fears of unpredictable events. Don't waste money on insurance you don't need &mdash; or by doubling up on coverage you already have. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-insurance-agents-dont-want-you-to-know?ref=seealso">14 Things Insurance Agents Don't Want You to Know</a>).</p> <p>Here are six kinds of insurance that aren't worth their cost (and a few coverage alternatives, just in case).</p> <h2>1. Rental Car Insurance</h2> <p>You shouldn't pay twice for the same thing. Depending on your car insurance policy and your credit card, you may already be covered for rental car insurance.</p> <p>First, most primary auto insurance policies extend to rental vehicles up to your policy limits. For example, your liability insurance would pay for damages caused to other cars or properties. Review your insurance policy to get a clear picture of your coverages and policy limits. In case of questions, talk with your insurance agent or contact your primary auto insurance's customer service line.</p> <p>Second, many credit cards offer secondary coverage for theft or damage to the rental vehicle. Secondary coverage means that after filing a claim with your primary insurance, the secondary insurance picks up fees, such as deductibles, loss-of-use charges, and towing costs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso">13 Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn't Know About</a>)</p> <h3>What to Do Instead</h3> <p>To skip rental car insurance, stick to cars that meet the coverage limits and requirements of your primary car insurance and credit card. For example, some cards won't cover rental cars over $50,000 in value or with rental periods of over 30 days.</p> <h2>2. Extended Warranty</h2> <p>When you drop a couple grand on that brand new laptop, you don't even hesitate to accept that extended warranty insurance. But if you'd read the fine print on your credit card terms, you would have found out that you were already covered. Most <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-free-extended-warranty-from-your-credit-card-issuer">credit cards offer extended warranties</a> for an extra year.</p> <p>Consumer Reports indicates that when breakdowns occur during <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2011/02/nine-more-reasons-to-skip-the-extended-warranty/index.htm">extended warranty periods</a>, the average repair cost for appliances is about the same as the average price for that warranty. This means that you're better off sticking with the free extended warranty from your credit card.</p> <h3>What to Do Instead</h3> <p>Just remember that to qualify for the extended warranty from your credit card company, you need to put the entire purchase amount on the card.</p> <h2>3. Collision Coverage for Old Cars</h2> <p>Talking about car insurance, here is another one that may be unnecessary.</p> <p>Let's imagine that you own a car with a Kelley Blue Book value of $2,500 and that your collision coverage is $500 per year.That's 20% of your vehicle's value for one year of coverage! If you were to wreck your car and receive a total loss settlement, the most that you would receive is $2,000 (assuming a $500 deductible). Is this worth it?</p> <p>This is a bad deal no matter how you see it. It gets even worse as the collision deductible gets higher, or the vehicle's cash value gets lower. Depending on your financial situation, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">dropping collision coverage</a> for your old car may be a good idea. On the other hand, never drop your auto liability insurance.</p> <h3>What to Do Instead</h3> <p>Take what you would use on collision coverage and put it in a savings fund for your next car purchase.</p> <h2>4. Specified Disease Insurance</h2> <p>If you have a family history of a particular genetic disorder or are at risk for a terminal disease, you may lose sleep over the potential financial blow that might be coming someday. Most specified disease insurance writers claim that this kind of policy is worth it because it will cover expenses not reimbursed by your primary health insurer, such as out-of-pocket medical costs, child and household help charges, and experimental treatment expenses.</p> <p>The reality is that you may be already covered. The Affordable Healthcare Act ensures that most insurance plans cover the health care that <a href="http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/002562-pdf.pdf">cancer patients and survivors</a> might need. Current legislation requires that all plans sold in health care marketplaces must cover essential health benefits, including screenings, treatments, and follow-up care of cancer and other types of diseases. If you're concerned about a specific disease, find out your available options for coverage through your <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov">state's health care marketplace</a>.</p> <h3>What to Do Instead</h3> <p>Get peace of mind through a comprehensive plan that covers your illness and skip the specified disease insurance.</p> <h2>5. Life Insurance for Children</h2> <p>This is a very sensitive topic. As a father of two handsome and smart boys, I will do everything in my power to provide them health, stability, and wellbeing. Buying life insurance for children doesn't make sense because they are not the main breadwinners in the family. In most scenarios, your children are your dependents, not the other way around. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-and-why-to-buy-life-insurance">How and Why to Buy Life Insurance</a>)</p> <p>Life insurance for children would only make sense if you're dependent on your young children for income. Even under these circumstances, some parents may feel uncomfortable signing up their children for life insurance.</p> <h3>What to Do Instead</h3> <p>If you're concerned that you wouldn't be able to cover the potential funeral expenses of your children, then create an emergency fund savings or investment account to cover those expenses. That way, you're covered in case of need and you have a head start for a potential college savings fund for your children. Consult your financial advisor to determine which is the right choice.</p> <h2>6. Private Mortgage Insurance</h2> <p>Private mortgage insurance, better known as PMI, is meant to cover any money owed to your lender in case you default on your mortgage. This insurance is not meant to cover you at all. PMI is required by law for homebuyers with down payments less than 20% of the sale price of the property. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-don-t-need-mortgage-life-insurance?ref=seealso">Why You Don't Need Mortgage Life Insurance</a>)</p> <p>There are three reasons why PMI isn't worth it:</p> <ul> <li>The average PMI payment ranges from 0.5% to 1% of the total loan value. The small percentage can be deceiving. In 2014, the <a href="http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-card-data/average-credit-card-debt-household/">average U.S. mortgage debt</a> was $155,192. Assuming a 1% PMI, the <a href="http://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/07/avoid_pmi.asp">average PMI payment</a> in 2014 was about $1,551. That money would be better used as a contribution to your retirement account or payment to credit card debt.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>PMI payments may not be tax deductible. Families with over <a href="http://www.irs.gov/publications/p936/ar02.html#en_US_2014_publink1000296058">$109,000 adjusted gross income</a> ($54,500 if married filing separately) per year can't deduct PMI payments on their tax declarations.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>PMI may be cancelled. Under the <a href="https://www.fdic.gov/regulations/compliance/manual/pdf/V-5.1.pdf">Homeowner's Protection Act</a>, you can request your lender terminate your PMI when your loan value reaches 78% of the original market value of the secured property. Keep in mind that there are several requirements, such as no junior liens and no dramatic market value swings. Plan ahead, work on improving your credit history, and make mortgage payments on time within the last two years, so that your lender doesn't come up with any &quot;buts&quot; to your request.</li> </ul> <h3>What to Do Instead</h3> <p>Save up for a 20% down payment on your property and skip private mortgage insurance altogether.</p> <p>For those with a high credit score, another option for avoiding PMI may be available: an 80-10-10 piggyback loan. Under this type of loan, a bank offers you a mortgage for 80% of the home value, and a second mortgage or home equity line of credit (HELOC) for 10% of the home value. This way you're able to come up with a 20% down payment but only with 10% out of pocket. Consult your local bank to determine your eligibility for a piggyback loan, find out terms (e.g. some banks may offer 80-5-15 or 80-15-5 piggyback loans), and figure out if a piggyback loan is right for you.</p> <p><em>What are some insurances that you wished you had never signed up for?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-kinds-of-insurance-that-arent-worth-it-and-what-to-do-instead">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-when-bundling-insurance-doesnt-make-sense">4 Times When Bundling Insurance Doesn&#039;t Make Sense</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-your-group-life-insurance-is-not-enough">Why Your Group Life Insurance Is Not Enough</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people">5 Reasons Why Life Insurance Isn&#039;t Just for Old People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-insurance-agents-dont-want-you-to-know">14 Things Insurance Agents Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance car insurance health costs life insurance pmi warranties Wed, 08 Apr 2015 11:00:10 +0000 Damian Davila 1370391 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Things Insurance Agents Don't Want You to Know http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-insurance-agents-dont-want-you-to-know <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-things-insurance-agents-dont-want-you-to-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/senior-insurance-178525693-small.jpg" alt="senior insurance" title="senior insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="153" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ignorance is bliss.</p> <p>The less that you know about how insurance works, the happier insurance agents are. As friendly as geckos, generals, cavemen, and ducks may look on TV, you shouldn't forget that insurance is a multi-billion dollar industry. These companies are out there to make money. It is the job of insurance agents to make as much as they can, too.</p> <p>Here are 14 things that insurance agents don't want you to know.</p> <h2>General Tips</h2> <p>Let's start with some tips that apply to several types of insurance.</p> <h3>1. Non-Smokers Pay Less</h3> <p>Non-smokers pay less than smokers for any type of insurance, including car insurance, home insurance, and life insurance. If you don't see a non-smoker discount listed on your policy, call your company and ask about it. Usual discounts for non-smokers range from 5% to 15%.</p> <h3>2. Quick Settlements Are Often Not the Best Deal</h3> <p>A quick settlement offer is never a good sign. This means that you are entitled to a payout, but the insurance agent is aware that if you look into it, you could get more. Remember that insurance companies are for-profit, so don't fall for those &quot;get on with your life&quot; and &quot;put this tragedy behind you&quot; comments. Take the time to carefully review a settlement offer before you accept it.</p> <h3>3. Payouts Can Be Extremely Slow</h3> <p>The airline insurance industry is an example of how slow insurance payouts can be. Lawyers are speculating that the litigation for <a href="http://fortune.com/2014/05/01/the-big-money-surprise-about-malaysia-airlines-flight-370/">Malaysia Airlines flight MH370</a> could take five years, with some families waiting up to 10 years for compensation. Airline insurance litigation in the U.S. can be complex as different states have different caps on damages for victims, so lawyers battle to file suits in states that benefits their clients. For example, in 1949 an <a href="http://ghostsofdc.org/2012/02/27/planes-collide-near-national-airport-killing-55-d-c-loses-home-rule-advocate/">Eastern Airlines plane</a> was cut in half. One half fell in Virginia, where then the cap was set at $15,000, and the other on Washington, D.C., where there is no cap.</p> <h3>4. Low, Low Premiums Can Hide Real Costs</h3> <p>Some insurance agents present you a quote so low that you won't believe your eyes. The reason that the quote is so low is that you would be opting for high deductibles and low coverage limits. These cookie-cutter policies may not only be a bad fit for you, but also end up costing you a lot in case of a claim.</p> <p>To avoid falling for a low-ball price and inappropriate insurance, compare apples to apples by requesting a quote for a policy with the exact same features. Take a second look at any quote that is way below the price of the others.</p> <h2>Car Insurance</h2> <p>Don't fall for cute mascots and look deeper into the coverages for those policies.</p> <h3>5. Credit Score Is a Major Criteria</h3> <p>Not used by just money lending institutions, credit scores provide insurance companies a look at your credit history as a predictor of potential payouts. The FTC also agrees that <a href="http://www.ftc.gov/reports/credit-based-insurance-scores-impacts-consumers-automobile-insurance-report-congress-federal">credit scores are effective predictors</a> of risk for auto insurance policies. This is why insurance agents request your social security number &mdash; so that they can pull up your credit report.</p> <p>Despite the validation by the FTC, this practice has been labeled as discriminatory by many consumer advocacy groups. Those struggling with debt or starting to build their credit history are hit with another big bill. This is why the states of California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts have prohibited car insurance companies from using credit-based insurance scores. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=seealso">How to Improve Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <h3>6. If You Move or Change Insurance, You Get a Refund</h3> <p>It is a good practice to pay your car premiums in a lump-sum payment because you prevent insurance agents from tacking on a &quot;convenience fee&quot; to smaller payments. However, this doesn't mean that they have all of your money for good. They have to earn it. Your lump sum payment covers several months, so if you have to move to another state, the insurance company owes you a refund for the unused months.</p> <p>Make sure to check the fine print on your policy before cancelling. Some companies may have an early termination fee or require a 30-days notice. Also, plan to have new insurance already in place when the old one is done.</p> <h3>7. &quot;Optional Coverages&quot; May Be Necessary</h3> <p>Insurance agents have to meet sales quotas. Sometimes they may suggest to leave certain &quot;optional coverages,&quot; such as underinsured motorist coverage, to lower your quote and get you to sign.</p> <p>For example, residents of California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio, and Louisiana are not mandated to get coverage for underinsured drivers. Still, it is a good idea to get it. Across the U.S. about <a href="http://www.insurance-research.org/sites/default/files/downloads/IRCUM2011_042111.pdf">one in seven drivers</a> is uninsured. But in some states, such as Florida, Oklahoma, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Tennessee, the estimated percentage of underinsured motorists is 24% and above.</p> <p>If you are the sole breadwinner in your family, does it make sense to risk the chance of a huge, unexpected bill?</p> <h3>8. You Don't Have to Speak to the Other Guy's Claims Adjuster</h3> <p>Just like in those cop dramas, &quot;you have the right to remain silent and everything you say may be used against you in a court of law.&quot; In the case of a car accident, the claims adjuster from the other party might claim that she &quot;must&quot; have your recorded statement or &quot;requires&quot; your medical records.</p> <p>Don't cave in to these requests, unless ordered by a court or other authority, because the claims adjuster is trying to gather evidence against you. Even your most innocent comment could be twisted as an attempt to delay or deny your claim.</p> <h3>9. &quot;Captive Agents&quot; Cannot Offer You the Best Deal</h3> <p>For the next 30 seconds, write down all the car insurance companies that you can think of. Once the time is up, count how many you got. Three? Five? Ten?</p> <p>Here is some food for thought: There are about <a href="http://www.cheapcarinsurancequotes.com/car-insurance-companies/">100 car insurance companies</a> in the U.S. By only looking up the quotes from two or three companies, you're decreasing your chances of getting the best possible price for your insurance. On top of that, an insurance agent from a company can offer you only options that that company sells. Don't fall for their online comparison tables because those quotes are not accurate &mdash; they are just estimates. The final price can only be achieved by considering your credit score, driving history, and other factors.</p> <p>The easiest way to cover the most ground is to work with an independent insurance agent. She represents several insurance companies, so she is not limited to offer you products from a single company.</p> <h3>10. Rental Car Insurance May Be Unnecessary</h3> <p>Check what your policy has to say about car rentals. You may be surprised that your car policy may provide sufficient coverages. Also, some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about">credit cards</a> offer rental car insurance when using them as form of payment.</p> <p>Before you rent a car the next time, make sure to have read the contracts from your existing car insurance and credit card(s). Remember that personal auto insurance often doesn't cover rentals for business use.</p> <h2>Home Insurance</h2> <p>Home sweet &quot;appropriately insured at the right price&quot; home.</p> <h3>11. Force-Placed Insurance Is Expensive</h3> <p>While home insurance is necessary, it doesn't need to be prohibitively expensive. Some banks will try to issue you a Force-Placed insurance, which is very expensive and provides the bank a kickback from an insurance company. This practice is not only unfair to the homebuyer, but also illegal in the eyes of the <a href="http://www.consumerfinance.gov/regulations/2013-real-estate-settlement-procedures-act-regulation-x-and-truth-in-lending-act-regulation-z-mortgage-servicing-final-rules/#date">Consumer Financial Protection Bureau</a>.</p> <p>Make sure to read all letters from your lender because they have to provide a written notice in case of a Force-Place insurance policy. If the bank is trying to force you into a insurance policy, find an alternative policy that meets the required coverages (e.g. hazard insurance, replacement cost) but at a lower price. If you are able to find an appropriate policy, contact your lender to cancel the forced policy immediately.</p> <h3>12. Little Known Home Insurance Coverages</h3> <p>Your home insurance policy may be stronger than you think. Here are some lesser-known coverages:</p> <ul> <li>If you're out of power for several days due to a natural disaster and your refrigerator is full of food that goes bad, you may be able to claim compensation.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Your children's property is protected by your homeowner's insurance as long they are living in campus dorms.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Home updates required by law, such as a storm cellar, may be covered by your home insurance.</li> </ul> <p>Check your home insurance policy for more details. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance?ref=seealso">8 Surprising Things Covered by Home Insurance</a>)</p> <h3>13. Private Mortgage Insurance Can Be Removed</h3> <p>The <a href="http://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/supmanual/cch/hpa.pdf">Homeowner's Protection Act</a>requires homebuyers, who finance more than 80% of a new home's value, to purchase Private Mortgage insurance (PMI). This is an expense that you have to keep for several years. The good news is that once your loan-to-value ratio is close to 20%, you can request your lender to remove PMI from your mortgage.</p> <p>Here is an overview of requirements:</p> <ul> <li>No second mortgages on your home</li> <li>Current on all payments by the anticipated cancellation date</li> <li>No late payments within the last two years</li> <li>Good credit score</li> <li>No dramatic market value change of home</li> </ul> <p>Finally, here is a type of policy that is so easy for insurance agents to sell that it deserves a mention of its own.</p> <h3>14. Disease-Specific Insurance</h3> <p>The slight mention of AIDS and cancer are enough to send a shiver down anyone's spine. This is why policies for these diseases are an easy sell for insurance agents. By preying on your fear, they get you to hand over cash for something that you may never use.</p> <p>If you have a health plan or life insurance, you may be already covered for these diseases. By duplicating the coverages, you're just wasting money. If a specific disease runs in your family, get a comprehensive health plan that includes treatment for that specific disease.</p> <p><em>What are some other things insurance agents don't want you to know?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-insurance-agents-dont-want-you-to-know">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprising-reasons-your-fixed-rate-mortgage-payment-could-rise">The Surprising Reasons Your Fixed-Rate Mortgage Payment Could Rise</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-to-ask-before-signing-a-lease">10 Questions to Ask Before Signing a Lease</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-what-to-do-with-a-totaled-car">My 2016 Budget Challenge: What to Do With a Totaled Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-having-a-paid-off-car-is-surprisingly-great">5 Ways Having a Paid Off Car Is Surprisingly Great</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Real Estate and Housing car insurance homeowner's insurance insurance life insurance Mon, 23 Jun 2014 09:00:05 +0000 Damian Davila 1145900 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Ways to Lower Car Insurance Rates http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-lower-car-insurance-rates <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-lower-car-insurance-rates" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car-4025979-small.jpg" alt="woman driving" title="woman driving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="179" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on ways to lower car insurance rates, the best mobile apps for personal finance, and traits common of most millionaires.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://thirtysixmonths.com/proactive-ways-to-lower-car-insurance-rates/">Proactive Ways to Lower Car Insurance Rates</a> — Installing an anti-theft device or taking a safety course can help you lower your car insurance rates. [Thirty Six Months]</p> <p><a href="http://bobbyfinance.com/2013/10/01/the-5-best-mobile-apps-for-personal-finance/">The 5 Best Mobile Apps for Personal Finance</a> — Have you downloaded the Venmo or MoneyKeeperPRO apps onto your phone yet? [BobbyFinance]</p> <p><a href="http://moremoneythanmonth.com/blog/7-traits-common-millionaires/">7 Traits common of most millionaires</a> — Did you know that most millionaires believe that financial independence is more important than displaying high social status? [More Money Than Month]</p> <p><a href="http://thehappyhousewife.com/frugal-living/5-ways-to-save-on-kids-costumes/">5 Ways to Save on Kids Costumes</a> — Organizing a costume swap can help you save money on your kids' costumes this Halloween. [The Happy Housewife]</p> <p><a href="http://theprudentpatron.com/100-birthday-freebies/">100+ Birthday Freebies</a> — If your birthday is coming up, check out this amazing list of freebies you can get on your special day! [The Prudent Patron]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://bargainbabe.com/how-to-save-money-on-car-tires/">How to Save Money on Car Tires</a> — To save money on car tires, extend the life of your tires by rotating them. [Bargain Babe]</p> <p><a href="http://freefrombroke.com/free-online-checking-accounts/">Free Online Checking Accounts - Why Pay More Fees Than You Have To</a> — If you have a free online checking account, beware of minimum balance fees or transaction fees. [Free From Broke]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2013/09/money-101-how-to-create-a-budget.html">Money 101: How to Create a Budget</a> — To create a budget, start by tracking your spending for 30 days. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Remove-Wrinkles-Without-Iron-31999801">Never Iron Again! 6 Ways to Have Wrinkle-Free Clothes Without Ironing</a> — Shower steam or wrinkle-removing sprays are good ways to get the wrinkles out of your clothes when you don't have an iron handy. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/6-opportunities-for-quantity-time-with-your-teenager">6 Opportunities for Quantity Time With Your Teenager</a> — Take advantage of the opportunity to talk to your teen when you are in the car with him or her. [Parenting Squad]</p><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-lower-car-insurance-rates">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-pay-as-you-drive-auto-insurance-worth-it">Is Pay-As-You-Drive Auto Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-insurance-agents-dont-want-you-to-know">14 Things Insurance Agents Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance best money tips car insurance insurance rates Wed, 02 Oct 2013 10:00:03 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 994523 at http://www.wisebread.com The Top 10 Cheapest Cars to Insure http://www.wisebread.com/the-top-10-cheapest-cars-to-insure <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-top-10-cheapest-cars-to-insure" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2011_car_insurance.jpg" alt="Toyota Sienna" title="Toyota Sienna" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you&rsquo;re thinking about buying a new vehicle, make sure you&rsquo;ve done your homework about average <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/auto-insurance">auto insurance</a> rates. According to <a href="http://www.insure.com/car-insurance/car-insurance-comparison.html">Insure.com</a>, the most expensive car to insure in 2011 was the Mercedes SL65 AMG, a sporty, two-door convertible that has the highest chance of getting in a car crash. Insurance companies are more likely to lower your insurance rates when they trust your chances of getting into a crash &mdash; or having your car stolen &mdash; are very low. This is why SUVs, minivans, and other non-sporty vehicles continue to rank at the top of the &ldquo;cheapest cars to insure&rdquo; list year after year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-joy-of-buying-a-new-car-9-car-buying-tips">The Joy of Buying a New Car: 9 Car Buying Tips</a>)</p> <p>Insure.com gathers data on national average annual premiums for different makes and models and ranks them based on premium price. For 2011, the top ten cheapest cars to insure were:</p> <h2>1. Chrysler Town and Country</h2> <p>The average annual premium for this vehicle was just $1,091.80 in 2011. The popular family minivan has been around since the late 80s, and the latest models have advanced safety features and high safety ratings.</p> <h2>2. Toyota Sienna</h2> <p>With an average annual premium of $1,100.66, this is another family minivan with high safety ratings, and the third generation Sienna was the first to receive a &ldquo;Top Safety Pick&rdquo; award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.</p> <h2>3. Toyota Sienna LE</h2> <p>This is one of the trim levels available on the Sienna minivans, and it boasts a V6 engine with all-wheel drive. More control and power means increased safety on the road. The average annual premium was just $1,108 for this version of the Sienna.</p> <h2>4. Honda Odyssey LX</h2> <p>The fourth-generation minivan available in 2011 boasts a larger body and lower roofline. It also has ventilated front disc brakes and six-speed automatic transmission for a smoother ride. The average annual premium for this vehicle was $1,115 in 2011.</p> <h2>5. Nissan Murano SL</h2> <p>Probably the sportiest crossover vehicle you&rsquo;ll find that commands low insurance rates, this stylish ride offers plenty of comfort and a full range of advanced safety features. The average annual premium was $1,127.89 in 2011.</p> <h2>6. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport</h2> <p>This SUV boasts 40% more horsepower and 10% more torque than other Jeeps on the road, but still has the classic Jeep styling. It&rsquo;s one of the best 4x4s on the market, and the average insurance rates are just $1,131.27.</p> <h2>7. Honda Odyssey EX</h2> <p>Another minivan to consider for those family outings and road trips, this reliable vehicle tops the &ldquo;safe&rdquo; list for many insurance companies. The average annual premium was $1,138.16 in 2011.</p> <h2>8. Toyota Sienna V6</h2> <p>The V6 engine versions of the Toyota Sienna are also a top choice for insurers, since these models promise more power and control among other minivans of a similar size. The average annual insurance premium was $1,143 in 2011.</p> <h2>9. Ford Escape XLS</h2> <p>This SUV is a popular alternative to the standard minivan and is also among the most affordable to insure. The average annual premium in 2011 was just $1,150.</p> <h2>10. Toyota Highlander</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re only interested in foreign vehicles, consider purchasing the Toyota Highlander. While it may be a gas guzzler, it&rsquo;s also among the more attractive alternatives to a minivan, and it&rsquo;s loaded with deluxe amenities and safety features. The average annual insurance premium was $1,154 in 2011.</p> <h2>Getting the Lowest Insurance Rates</h2> <p>When you&rsquo;re looking for the lowest insurance rates, stick with the practical, less-flashy vehicles, and you&rsquo;ll probably be looking at a lower-than-average insurance premium. Don&rsquo;t forget you can also reduce insurance costs by purchasing a vehicle that has extra safety equipment and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/disguise-your-stuff-to-prevent-car-break-ins">anti-theft devices</a> installed. If you&rsquo;re getting your car insurance coverage with the same insurance company that you have homeowners insurance with, you might also qualify for a discount.</p> <p>Keep in mind that all insurance companies will take the type of vehicle you drive, your driving history, your credit score, and other factors into account when calculating your premium. The above averages from Insure.com are estimates for the average driver and the actual insurance premium you end up paying could be higher or lower based on where you live, how often you drive, and several other factors.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sabah-karimi">Sabah Karimi</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-top-10-cheapest-cars-to-insure">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-pay-as-you-drive-auto-insurance-worth-it">Is Pay-As-You-Drive Auto Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-mechanical-breakdown-insurance-worth-it">Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance Buying a new car car insurance Thu, 15 Dec 2011 10:48:16 +0000 Sabah Karimi 824535 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Myths About Car Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/5-myths-about-car-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-myths-about-car-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/red-mustang.jpg" alt="Red car" title="Red car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Picking out the right type of insurance can be complicated enough, so make sure you&rsquo;re not believing one of the many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/auto-insurance">car insurance</a> myths when making your final decision. Here are five myths about car insurance, debunked. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-mistakes-to-avoid-when-shopping-for-car-insurance">6 Mistakes to&nbsp;Avoid When Shopping for Car Insurance</a>)</p> <h3>1. Expensive Cars Command Higher Insurance Rates</h3> <p>While it&rsquo;s true that sports cars and luxury vehicles that have a higher risk of being broken into or stolen typically cost more to insure, the fact that these same cars are more expensive really has nothing to do with the insurance rates. Your insurance company will take your vehicle&rsquo;s loss history, how much it usually costs to repair your vehicle, and several other factors into account when calculating <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://www.goinsurancerates.com/r/4e61285d87/?subid=809144">your insurance rate</a>. If you live in a high-crime neighborhood and drive your expensive car long distances on a daily basis, you can expect to pay a higher-than-average insurance rate.</p> <h3>2. Since I&rsquo;m a Female, My Insurance Rate Will Be Higher</h3> <p>Even though <a href="http://www.realclearscience.com/2011/07/09/women_more_likely_to_cause_traffic_accidents_241996.html">statistics show</a> that female drivers are more likely to get in a car accident than their male counterparts, insurance companies don&rsquo;t use this as a factor when determining insurance rates. What they <i>do</i> consider is the woman&rsquo;s driving history, the type of vehicle she&rsquo;s driving, and how much she drives &mdash; just like they do with their male customers. There is no difference in insurance rates based specifically on gender. You just need to make sure you have a clean driving history and are reporting your annual miles accurately to qualify for a better rate.</p> <h3>3. My Insurance Company Will Pay for Property Stolen From My Vehicle</h3> <p>Personal property, including cell phones, handbags, laptops, e-readers, and any other types of electronics are not covered under an auto insurance policy. In some cases, these items will be covered by your homeowners insurance policy, but you will need to file a separate claim. Remember to remove all pricey personal items from your vehicle and always <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/disguise-your-stuff-to-prevent-car-break-ins">keep them well out of sight</a> of any passersby. These can be a costly loss on your end and in some cases, can also compromise your identity.</p> <h3>4. I Already Paid for Insurance, So I Don&rsquo;t Need to Buy Another Policy for My New Car</h3> <p>You will always need to get an entirely new policy when you insure a different vehicle. Even if you own an insured vehicle but aren&rsquo;t planning on driving it, or you just paid for insurance on an old vehicle and decided to buy a different vehicle, your insurance company will need to run the numbers based on your new car&rsquo;s VIN and issue you a new policy. Your old policy can be canceled until you stop driving the car or authorize no coverage, or you can continue coverage until you sell the vehicle. Make sure you go over these details with your insurance agent and always inform them when you are making a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-joy-of-buying-a-new-car-9-car-buying-tips">new car purchase</a>.</p> <h3>5. My Red Car Commands Higher-Than-Average Insurance Rates</h3> <p>This myth has been around for decades. Insurance companies don&rsquo;t take the color of the car into account when determining insurance rates but will take the make and model of the vehicle, how often you drive the car, and your driving history into account. The fact that your vehicle might be a red <i>sports</i> car instead of a red family sedan could have an impact on your insurance rate, because the sports car may be at a higher risk of being vandalized or stolen. So, if you want to get that red car you&rsquo;ve had your eye on all these years, go ahead and do it without worrying about a drastic increase in insurance. <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://www.goinsurancerates.com/r/4e61285d87/?subid=809144">Your final insurance rate</a> will be determined by several other factors.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sabah-karimi">Sabah Karimi</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-myths-about-car-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-pay-as-you-drive-auto-insurance-worth-it">Is Pay-As-You-Drive Auto Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-mistakes-to-avoid-when-shopping-for-car-insurance">6 Mistakes to Avoid When Shopping for Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance car insurance myths new car women Tue, 06 Dec 2011 11:00:21 +0000 Sabah Karimi 809144 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Mistakes to Avoid When Shopping for Car Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/6-mistakes-to-avoid-when-shopping-for-car-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-mistakes-to-avoid-when-shopping-for-car-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/driving_backwards.jpg" alt="Man looking over his shoulder while driving" title="Man looking over his shoulder while driving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="129" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Shopping around for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/auto-insurance">car insurance</a> can help you find the best possible deal and even help you negotiate for a better rate. You need to do more than just focus on the rates the insurance company has quoted, however. Asking some critical questions and taking a good look at your coverage options will help you find an insurance policy that truly meets your needs &mdash; and also helps you avoid some costly mistakes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-cheap-auto-insurance-for-young-drivers">How to Get Cheap Auto Insurance for Young Drivers</a>)</p> <p>Here are six mistakes to avoid when shopping for car insurance.</p> <h3>1. Not Knowing How Much Coverage You Need</h3> <p>If you are changing auto insurance providers, want to add a new vehicle, or are moving out of state and need to purchase insurance, take a good look at the coverage options and your state's minimum requirements. Buying excess coverage is a common mistake &mdash; especially if you are a new customer and have been pressured into signing for a policy by an insurance agent.</p> <h3>2. Relying <em>Only</em> on Online Shopping Comparison Sites</h3> <p>While most of the major insurance providers are listed on online insurance quote sites, some are not, and these companies might be able to offer a better rate. Make sure you&rsquo;re aware of all of the insurance agents or companies in your area, so you&rsquo;re not relying solely on the online shopping comparison sites for the best quote. You just need to set up a phone call with an insurance agent and provide some basic information about your driving history, your vehicle, and insurance needs; and the agent can extend a quote over the phone within minutes. If you submit your information on an online shopping comparison site, you may need to wait a few days for an agent to get back to you, and the &ldquo;instant quotes&rdquo; may not be anywhere near what you will end up paying.</p> <h3>3. Forgetting to Factor in a Big Umbrella Policy</h3> <p>If you purchased an umbrella policy in the past, make sure you&rsquo;re able to purchase the same level of extra coverage with your new insurance provider. An umbrella policy provides extra coverage when your liability coverage ends. If you have a considerable amount of assets and want to avoid a costly lawsuit, make sure you have the option to purchase an umbrella policy. Most insurers will charge extra for this policy, so you&rsquo;ll need to factor this in when requesting a quote.</p> <h3>4. Not Asking About Discounts</h3> <p>While some discounts are applied automatically, others require a fairly extensive review process to determine eligibility and will require some action on your part. If you&rsquo;ve taken a remedial driving course, started working from home, or switched employers, make sure your insurance company knows about it. Not all discounts that you are eligible for may be advertised on the company website, and the insurance agent might not even bring them up during your first meeting. Ask about a &ldquo;good driver&rdquo; discount, employee discounts, and other incentives that might bring down your insurance rates.</p> <h3>5. Not Reviewing Your Driving Record</h3> <p>If you are planning to switch insurance providers, you&rsquo;ll need to fill out a formal application and include details about your driving history. Make sure you&rsquo;re providing accurate information about your driving record, or you could be guilty of insurance fraud. If you can&rsquo;t recall all of your traffic violations and tickets from the past five years, just get in touch with your state&rsquo;s department of motor vehicles and request an official copy of your driving record. The DMV will have a long list of all violations and reports on file and can pull the information you need fairly quickly.</p> <h3>6. Ignoring Payment Policies</h3> <p>While most insurance companies offer convenient payment options and even online bill pay, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-cant-you-ever-make-on-time-payments">late payment fees</a> and other charges vary from company to company. Don&rsquo;t forget to ask what the payment policy is, when payments are typically due, and about discounts for paying the entire balance upfront. These small details aren&rsquo;t always listed on the company&rsquo;s website and may only be revealed when you see the final contract.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sabah-karimi">Sabah Karimi</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-mistakes-to-avoid-when-shopping-for-car-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-pay-as-you-drive-auto-insurance-worth-it">Is Pay-As-You-Drive Auto Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-mechanical-breakdown-insurance-worth-it">Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance car insurance Mistakes reduce bills Tue, 29 Nov 2011 10:36:40 +0000 Sabah Karimi 798281 at http://www.wisebread.com Repair the Car or Spend the Cash? http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fender_bender.jpg" alt="Fender bender" title="Fender bender" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="172" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Over the past few months, I've been seeing cars in various states of disrepair. Big dents, dings, damaged windows and doors, bumpers scraping along the ground, you name it. And it got me scratching my head and wondering...are people choosing to take the insurance money and spend it on something other than the car repair? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/remove-car-dents-quickly-and-cheaply">Remove Car Dents Quickly and Cheaply</a>)</p> <p>Now obviously, some of these cars were just old and in need of some major TLC. But in the company car park alone I've seen several cars that are from 2007 or after, and they have big bad dents and other major pieces of bodywork damage.</p> <p>Clearly, these cars were involved in some kind of accident. Be it with another car, a lamp post, a wall, or an angry Transformer, something went wrong. Knowing that most good citizens have auto insurance coverage, I also know that these people would have received some kind of payment to have the car fixed whether it was their fault or not. I got sideswiped a few years ago, and the car took $4,500 worth of damage. I was given two options...choosing a recommended repair shop to deal directly with my auto insurance company, and I would pay the deductible. Or I could get a check based on the price the adjuster believed it would cost to have repaired, minus the deductible.</p> <p>At the time, I chose the first option. I needed the car fixed immediately. I wasn't ready to start calling around for competitive bids, and I also knew that the place chosen by my auto insurance company would be held accountable by them if the repair was not done well.</p> <p>But I got to thinking. I wonder...</p> <h3>How many say &quot;I can live with the dent; I'd much rather have the cash&quot;?</h3> <p>It makes all kinds of sense to me. Some people don't care about the resale value of the car or how it looks. It's a mode of transport that gets them from home to work, shopping, or the ball game. It's no big deal if it's not perfect, and a few thousand dollars is way more important than removing a dent from the door or fixing a crunched-up bumper.</p> <p>After that thought, I noticed damaged cars everywhere. I counted 23 in the parking lot at Target last week, and it was not a busy shopping day. True, some may have been very recently damaged and awaiting repair, but I saw a couple of major dents that had been very poorly spray-painted and a bumper that had been freshly covered with stickers. Clearly, these were not people who took the insurance money for the car repair. They probably kept the cash.</p> <h3>Is it legal to keep the cash, and are there consequences?</h3> <p>This gets us into some muddy waters. I did some digging on several auto repair sites, forums, insurance blogs, and so on. It seems that many people do, in fact, opt to cash the check and leave their vehicle in a state of disrepair. But this does have some ramifications.</p> <p>First, if you don't own the car outright (and that's a large majority of us), then the bank is the lienholder, and the money for the repair is to keep the car in good condition until the loan has been paid off. They want the car to be repaired, and they have every right to see that you make good on the repair. What's more, if the check is made out to both you and the lienholder, and you cash it, you could be liable for fraud charges and even jail time!</p> <p>If you own the car outright, it's much easier to decide to take the cash and spend it on bills, a new TV, or anything else. I have read several stories on <a href="http://www.autorepairserviceguidemarietta.com/blog/auto-a-c-repair/can-i-cash-and-keep-the-money-from-an-auto-insurance-co-made-out-to-me-and-the-lien-holder">Auto Repair Service Guide</a> of people who did just that:</p> <p>Thorax (a username, I believe) said, &quot;Yes you can do that.. I got about 800 for a scratch on my bumper, you couldn&rsquo;t really even see it unless you knew it was there or got up close&hellip; I decided to say screw it and keep the money&hellip;&quot;</p> <p>And Young Ian also chimed in, saying, &quot;Yep, you can cash it. My mom did the same thing some guy hit our salvage title prizm and she got like a thousand dollars for it. It was mainly cosmetic, she used it to pay bills. We still have a pretty ugly side, but she got a thousand bucks!&quot;</p> <h3>Now, over to you...</h3> <p>If you get in an accident and your car receives cosmetic damage, do you get it <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-find-a-reputable-mechanic">repaired</a>, or do you take the money and run? In these tough economic times, I can certainly see why many people would go for the latter option.</p> <p><em>References:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.ehow.com/info_8254420_do-check-getting-car-fixed.html"><em>Do&nbsp;I&nbsp;Have to Spend My Insurance Check on&nbsp;Getting the Car Fixed?</em></a><em><br /> </em></li> <li><a href="http://www.autoinsurancetips.com/auto-insurance-claim-checks-repair-car-or-keep-cash"><em>Repair the Car or Keep the Cash?</em></a><em><br /> </em></li> <li><a href="http://www.carljohnsonautoservice.com/car-repair/do-i-have-to-repair-my-car-or-can-i-keep-the-insurance-cashcheck"><em>Do&nbsp;I Have to Repair the Car or Can I Keep the Insurance Cash/Check?</em></a></li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-pay-as-you-drive-auto-insurance-worth-it">Is Pay-As-You-Drive Auto Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-mechanical-breakdown-insurance-worth-it">Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-mistakes-to-avoid-when-shopping-for-car-insurance">6 Mistakes to Avoid When Shopping for Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance car insurance car repairs spend insurance money Fri, 15 Jul 2011 10:36:22 +0000 Paul Michael 620800 at http://www.wisebread.com Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Worth It? http://www.wisebread.com/is-mechanical-breakdown-insurance-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-mechanical-breakdown-insurance-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car trouble.jpg" alt="Mechanical Breakdown Insurance" title="Mechanical Breakdown Insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="162" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Car trouble is so often the worst kind of trouble.</p> <p>Few things can rip a hole in your budget so rapidly and so thoroughly. A new transmission (~$2,500) or rack and pinion (~$1,000) can wipe out a rainy day fund in one cruel clank or clunk. And it's these types of unexpected problems that make mechanical breakdown insurance so tantalizing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on&nbsp;Car Insurance</a>)</p> <p>The question, as with most forms of insurance &mdash; is the gamble worth it?</p> <h3>What Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance?</h3> <p>Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) can insulate consumers against big-ticket car repair costs. This is not an extended warranty or anything of the sort. Instead, this is a typically inexpensive form of insurance that is subject to the same regulatory controls as other insurance products.</p> <p>These policies don't cover defects or issues that arise from standard maintenance issues, but they can be a financial lifeline if catastrophe strikes. Consumers tend to pay reasonable premiums (anywhere from $75 and up) and have deductibles ranging from $50 to $500 or more, depending on the details of the plan and the age of the automobile. Insurers favor consumers with newer vehicles or leased models. Those with older cars might be unable to procure MBI.</p> <p>Some plans also cover things like towing, car rental, and trip interruption. Terms can range from a year to more than a half dozen, or span tens of thousands of miles. Some policies are even transferable, which car owners can use as a selling point when the time comes to unload their vehicles.</p> <p>&ldquo;We all have cars, and we all know they end up breaking down,&rdquo; said Hank Coleman, managing editor at <a href="http://www.insurancequotes.org">InsuranceQuotes.org</a>. &ldquo;Insurance is always a hedge against future problems, and MBI can be a really savvy investment depending on your car and your coverage options. There's few policies that can match the universal need that MBI is setup to cover.&rdquo;</p> <h3>How Does It Work?</h3> <p>While MBI has some built-in safeguards as a legitimate insurance product, consumers should still take great pains to ensure they're getting a policy that meets their unique needs and covers theirs concerns.</p> <p>Consumers should be able to take their ailing auto to a repair shop of their choice. Avoid policies that try to limit, qualify, or otherwise restrict decisions related to who completes repair work. There should also be clear language explaining that your deductible payments are for visits to the repair shop and not required for every single repair.</p> <p>Remember, too, that this is breakdown insurance. Car equipment that becomes defective because of normal wear and tear over time isn&rsquo;t covered. Unless you have a warranty or extended service agreement, things like brake pads, shocks, and other parts will require out-of-pocket outlays.</p> <p>And what about warranties? Newer automobiles may come with a manufacturer warranty or service agreement that all but eliminates the need for MBI. It&rsquo;s important to evaluate a potential policy in light of existing warranties and their expirations.</p> <h3>Why Get Mechanical Breakdown Insurance?</h3> <p>For some consumers, it might make more sense to simply tuck away a few extra dollars each month in an auto <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/figuring-the-size-of-your-emergency-fund">emergency fund</a>. Those who like having an added layer of protection can shop around for MBI. As an added bonus, those who purchase it when their car is new tend to enjoy lower rates as the years go on.</p> <p>In the end, though, it&rsquo;s typically one of those peace-of-mind purchases.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chris-birk">Chris Birk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-mechanical-breakdown-insurance-worth-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-pay-as-you-drive-auto-insurance-worth-it">Is Pay-As-You-Drive Auto Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-mistakes-to-avoid-when-shopping-for-car-insurance">6 Mistakes to Avoid When Shopping for Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance auto repairs breakdowns car insurance Thu, 19 May 2011 10:24:32 +0000 Chris Birk 545426 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Ways to Save on Business Insurance Premiums http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/12-ways-to-save-on-business-insurance-premiums <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/12-ways-to-save-on-business-insurance-premiums-scott-allen" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/12-ways-to-save-on-busine...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/12-ways-to-save-on-business-insurance-premiums" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000014809695XSmall.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>From an insurer&rsquo;s standpoint, every business is unique in the risk that it poses. In order to properly rate a risk, the insurance company must take many things into consideration in an attempt to determine the likelihood of a claim and if there is a claim, the severity of it. The following are the top factors that insurers consider that could cause a business to pay higher insurance premiums. These also represent your best opportunity to keep your insurance costs under control or even reduce them.</p> <h3>1. Loss History</h3> <p>Past claim history plays a major role in the insurance premiums of a business. The insurer will often consider a business that has had several small claims a greater risk than a business that has had one large claim, thus charging a higher premium. A business owner might be better off absorbing small losses and saving the insurance for larger claims.</p> <h3>2. Credit History</h3> <p>Although most insurance companies do not have the ability to apply credit scoring to commercial risks, they do often research the credit history of the company as well as the owners. A poor credit history could be a red flag to the insurer that the business owner is either financially irresponsible or more likely to file a claim since their finances might not be solid enough to absorb small losses on their own. Some insurance companies won&rsquo;t even consider a commercial applicant that has had a bankruptcy in the past. Cleaning up your personal credit and establishing solid business credit before adding coverage or changing insurance providers could provide substantial savings.</p> <h3>3. Driving History</h3> <p>For commercial auto policies, having employees with poor driving histories will result in higher rates unless the company agrees to exclude those drivers. This could come into play even on a package policy because many commercial package policies provide hired and non-owned auto coverage. You may want to consider this in your hiring practices.</p> <h3>4. Experience</h3> <p>The length of time the company has been in business is also taken into consideration. If it&rsquo;s a start-up business, the insurer will want to know how much experience the owner has in the same or similar business. If the owner is not experienced in the type of business they are starting, the insurer may apply a surcharge or even refuse to insure them. Having a partner or senior executive/manager with related experience can alleviate this.</p> <h3>5. Location</h3> <p>The location of the business is another important factor in the determination of rates. A business located in a high crime area or in a remote area not easily accessed by the fire department poses a higher risk of loss. Investigate the impact in your insurance premiums as part of your due diligence when considering a new location. You may be able to offset higher rent with lower insurance premiums.</p> <h3>6. Building Characteristics</h3> <p>If the building is older and has not had updates to major systems such as electrical, plumbing, heating, and the roof, the insurance company may apply a surcharge. A frame building will have higher rates than a brick building, and lack of protection systems such as fire alarms, a sprinkler system, and proper exits may even deem the building uninsurable with some companies.</p> <h3>7. Continuous Coverage</h3> <p>One of the most important things a business owner can do is carry adequate insurance and avoid a lapse or gaps in coverage. Prior cancellation for non-payment is especially unfavorably looked upon and could make the business ineligible for coverage with some insurance carriers. Keep this in mind if you ever get in a cash flow crunch and have to start prioritizing bill payments.</p> <h3>8. Safe Working Environment</h3> <p>Companies that do not provide a safe working environment for their employees and do not enforce safety rules are going to pay higher rates because their risk of injury to an employee or visitor is greater.</p> <h3>9. Employee Wellness</h3> <p>Although most group health plans don&rsquo;t require physicals and medical history for individual employees, insurers recognize that healthier employees cost them less, and they&rsquo;re willing to pass some of that savings on to employers who implement employee wellness programs. These may include offerings such as on-site exercise facilities, partially or fully subsidized gym memberships, stop-smoking programs, weight loss support groups, and more. While the costs may not be fully offset by reduced health premiums, they almost certainly will by reduced absenteeism, increased productivity, and improved employee retention. Healthy employees are also more likely to be happy employees.</p> <h3>10. Use of Insured Subcontractors</h3> <p>The insurance company might require proof that the business owner only uses subcontractors who carry their own adequate insurance. This is because the business owner could be held liable for the subcontractors&rsquo; operations if they are uninsured, thus forcing the insurance company to provide insurance for which they are not collecting a premium.</p> <h3>11. Reporting Correct Information</h3> <p>Many business insurance policies are based upon annual sales and/or employee payroll.</p> <p>At inception of the policy, sales and payroll figures must be estimated for the next year. At the end of the policy period, an audit is performed to determine actual figures. If the figures were underestimated, whether or not by intention, additional premium will be due.</p> <h3>12. Ask Your Agent</h3> <p>Perhaps the single most effective thing you can do to reduce your insurance premiums is simply ask your agent. While they may make more money on higher premiums, they also want to keep your business, and telling you how to lower your costs is one of the most effective ways they can do that. If you haven&rsquo;t had that conversation with your agent recently, set up a call or meeting right away.</p> <p>While the exact formulas insurers use to calculate your premiums may be complex and somewhat mysterious, understanding some of the major factors insurers consider may provide you with multiple ways to save on your premiums.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/scott-allen">Scott Allen</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/12-ways-to-save-on-business-insurance-premiums">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-pay-as-you-drive-auto-insurance-worth-it">Is Pay-As-You-Drive Auto Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-mistakes-to-avoid-when-shopping-for-car-insurance">6 Mistakes to Avoid When Shopping for Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-mechanical-breakdown-insurance-worth-it">Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Small Business Resource Center business insurance car insurance employee benefits insurance premium small business Wed, 05 Jan 2011 17:24:41 +0000 Scott Allen 409104 at http://www.wisebread.com Mogi's Extended Vehicle Protection: Is it Worth It? http://www.wisebread.com/mogis-extended-vehicle-protection-is-it-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/mogis-extended-vehicle-protection-is-it-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beat up car.jpg" alt="Broken Down Car" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Over the weekend I saw a Mogi commercial for the first time and was intrigued: was this really something worth taking a look at or was it just another unnecessary product looking to take advantage of customers? After doing a little research, I found that Mogi offers a real product that some people may want to use& mdash; but it most definitely isn't for me.</p> <h3>What Is Mogi?</h3> <p>Mogi offers &quot;extended vehicle protection,&quot; which means it's a kind of car insurance for things like car parts and wear and tear. Traditional insurance will cover you for car accidents and things like that, but not if your brakes are shot or if your transmission fails. In exchange for a monthly payment, Mogi will cover you in case you have a busted johnson rod or some other ridiculous-sounding repair. Once your warranty expires, Mogi is one way of &quot;extending&quot; the service.</p> <h3>Do You Need It?</h3> <p>Probably not. Unless you have a LOT of issues with your car and are constantly feeding money into this or that repair (in which case you might need a new car altogether), then you may want to consider making a monthly payment for &quot;just in case&quot; stuff. I don't know about you, but the last thing I want is another bill to pay every month that only becomes &quot;worth it&quot; if something bad happens.</p> <p>It's not easy (or fun) <a href="http://www.thewriterscoin.com/2008/05/09/budget-breaking-dealing-with-the-unexpected/">dealing with the unexpected</a>, but more than likely you're better off tucking money away into your emergency fund.</p> <h3>Beware</h3> <p>Mogi's website concerns me. They don't give you any pricing information and if you want any additional info, they demand a phone number. A little bit of research uncovered some <a href="http://mogi.pissedconsumer.com/watch-out-for-mogi-20090722151341.html">unfavorable comments</a> about the company and their salespeople. Looks like they rely on getting people on the phone and then applying pressure via the hard sell.</p> <p>Regardless of how good or bad Mogi is or isn't, I'm curious what people think about paying a monthly fee for the peace of mind that if anything happens to your car you won't have to pay for it out of pocket.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carlos-portocarrero">Carlos Portocarrero</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mogis-extended-vehicle-protection-is-it-worth-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-pay-as-you-drive-auto-insurance-worth-it">Is Pay-As-You-Drive Auto Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-a-car-service-plan-is-worth-it">How to Tell If a Car Service Plan Is Worth It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-insurance-agents-dont-want-you-to-know">14 Things Insurance Agents Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation car insurance extended vehical protection mogi Tue, 23 Mar 2010 13:00:03 +0000 Carlos Portocarrero 5962 at http://www.wisebread.com